Who doesn't want to be more liked? Even people who say they don't care about being liked care about being liked. And it's especially important for entrepreneurs and anyone in business--you stack the deck against you for accomplishing your goals if you're an unlikable curmudgeon  Granted, you care less the older you get, but still.

What makes this difficult is that people make snap judgments that can be hard to change, which means a lot of pressure to make a good first impression that leads to being liked.

But not to worry. Over a three-decade career of evaluating and being evaluated in countless first exchanges, I've learned a lot about what it takes to quickly generate likability.

1. Be interested, not interesting.

If you start a conversation by trying to command attention and direct things to you, you'll directly tank your likeability. Dale Carnegie once said, "You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you." I'd strike "two months" and substitute "two minutes."

If you assume the other person has value to add and something interesting to say or reveal, it's easy to be interested.

2. Listen first, talk second.

This goes hand in hand with the first one and again plays into human nature. We like it when people listen. Ever notice how compelling it is when you encounter someone who is actually listening? It's hard not to like that person because being listened to is a subtle sign that you're liked.

And when it is your turn to talk, asking questions is a great place to start rather than launching into a series of statements. Listening to engender likability also means your device never comes out in mid-communication. Focus.  

3. Synchronize yourself.

By this I mean get quickly tuned into who you're with. Be a bit of a social chameleon and adapt your personality, behavior, and mood to theirs. This is about tailoring yourself to the situation, not altering the core essence of who you are. That would be disingenuous and will be discovered, thus vaporizing likability. It's about being authentic and adaptable to dial up and down aspects of your personality portfolio.

4. Smile like you're actually happy.

Have a friendly, open demeanor and mean it. Flash a genuine smile. Project warmth and a sense of well-being. It's hard not to smile right back at people smiling at you--good feelings abound.

And while you're at it, combine a confident, upright posture with that smile. You're self-confidence gives them confidence in you--a likable trait.

5. Give them 10 percent more.

Energy, that is. People are drawn to those who emit positivity and energy (without being over the top). The idea is to reach down and give your counterpart 10 percent more energy than they'll see from anyone else that day. Be more positive-minded and give more (genuine) compliments than they'll get all day. The 10 percent more will help contribute to you being 10 times more likable than most people they meet.  

There's nothing wrong with wanting to click faster with more people. So put these five tips into practice to increase your click quotient.

Published on: Oct 26, 2019
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